John Campbell Exits Breakfast

After weeks of speculation, John Campbell confirmed today he was leaving TVNZ 1’s Breakfast to take on a new roving reporter role with the broadcaster, presumably similar to Patrick Gower’s top-rating transition on Three.

Here’s the media release:

John Campbell takes up TVNZ Chief Correspondent role, Kamahl Santamaria joins Breakfast

John Campbell has announced live on Breakfast that he is moving from TVNZ’s flagship morning news show to take up the new role of TVNZ Chief Correspondent.

It will see the award-winning journalist and broadcaster telling stories across TVNZ’s news and current affairs, on TV and Digital. John will also present a number of 1 NEWS specials through the year, investigating the big issues across Aotearoa.

John says, “Being TVNZ’s Chief Correspondent is a new and really exciting broadcast-digital role, and I am so up for it! From documentaries and broadcast specials, to stories for Sunday and 1 NEWS, to working in the immediacy of our digital team when there’s breaking news, or when we want to tell stories in new or different ways, to making sure TVNZ is talking to, and about, as many New Zealanders as possible, I can’t wait!

“I’ve loved being part of Breakfast and part of a team that’s helped re-shape breakfast television, to make it more inclusive, more representative, and more prepared to talk about things like inequality, the environment, and how we might better enable people to live lives of dignity and participation.

“I feel really grateful that our audience has grown – this means there’s an appetite for this kind of television. I’ve also loved working alongside Jenny-May, Indira and Matty. They’re wonderful people, and we’re friends, and that matters when you’re starting work at four am, and doing three hours, live, each morning in their company. I’ll miss them, but I’ll be back on Breakfast at regular intervals.”

TVNZ’s Head of News and Current Affairs, Paul Yurisich says: “John’s a great journalist and is at his absolute best telling people’s stories and seeking answers. He’s been a crucial part of the Breakfast team, but we’re very excited to have him out and about around Aotearoa getting into the big issues and providing even more depth to our daily coverage.

“We saw how much people are keen for us to delve deeper into things affecting them, with the response to our December special Anger, Anxiety & Us, led by John.”

Anger, Anxiety & Us was a huge hit with viewers, achieving an average audience of 400,100 Kiwis across New Zealand1 and a share of 39%.2 The TVNZ 1 documentary was number one in its time slot for AP5+ as well as for TVNZ 1’s commercial demographic of AP25-54 and the younger demo of AP18-49.1 On TVNZ OnDemand, the doco reached 18,300 people and was streamed 24,100 times.3

TVNZ also announces that Kamahl Santamaria will join the Breakfast team, alongside Jenny-May Clarkson, Matty McLean and Indira Stewart on New Zealand’s most watched morning news show.4

Kamahl comes to TVNZ from Al Jazeera, where he was involved in the launch of the channel and has spent the past 16 years as principal news anchor, covering many of the biggest world’s news stories. The Auckland-born journalist started his career at 3 News (now Newshub) and has presented news and current affairs programming and special broadcasts in Australia, the Asia-Pacific, the United States and the Middle East.

Kamahl says, “20 years is a long time to be away, but it’s the challenge of Breakfast and three hours of live, on-your-feet broadcasting every morning which has brought me back.

“When I left New Zealand, early morning TV was still in its infancy.  Now it’s established and competitive and vibrant, and it’ll be such a privilege to join Jenny-May, Matty and Indira in that fantastic new Breakfast studio – and to share each morning with so many Kiwis as well.

“I’m really excited to be home. It feels like things have come full circle, and I’m thrilled to be joining TVNZ’s news and current affairs department at such a pivotal time for the industry.”

Paul Yurisich says, “Kamahl will add another dimension to our top-class Breakfast team.

“It’s already such a strong team and I’m thrilled to be able to add Kamahl’s international experience to the mix. He does a superb job of breaking down any story for the audience and is a highly-skilled interviewer.

“He’s also so passionate about NZ and I know he’s been a very keen follower of news and sport here during his time away.”

For the next few weeks Jenny-May, Matty and Indira will present Breakfast as a trio until Kamahl joins them later this month.

Breakfast is New Zealand’s most watched morning news programme in 2022, with an audience reach of 352,100 every day (AP5+).5


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